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I am getting ready to depart for Afghanistan again. Anyway I was preping my insight since it will not be driven until October. My prep (done a few times) consists of doing a battery recalibration (pulling the 7.5 amp brake light fuse and 40 amp main fuse, running the engine at 3500 rpm until battery is full). Afterwards I flip the main battery breaker and remove the 12v battery connection.
Anyway when I started my car and keep it at 3500 rpm (my car doesn't stay at 3500 rpm for long in normal driving) I noticed I could actually see a light smoke comming from the exhaust. Never seen any exhaust before. The smoke ended before the battery was fully charged perhaps 2 min or so. I checked the oil and coolant and neither is low. Anyone else notice any smoke from there insight. No problems noted otherwise. Have fun, RIck
 

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It's not good to idle a cold engine for long, idling at high idle is no better.
As the owners manual says it's best not to idle for more then 30 seconds even on the coldest days, just drive gently because the engine load warms up the engine much more quickly then idling. It's best to minimine the time the engine is running with engine tempertures lower then the normal engine operating temperatures.

As Kevin mentioned the smoke is most likely oil getting past the piston rings, these things happen when the engine is cold. When all the engine parts are at the normal operating temperature all the parts of expanded to their proper sizes so the part tolerances and seals work as intended. That's why it's best to drive gently to warm up the engine more quickly.

As an example the tolerances of the stealth fighter are designed for when it flies very high and fast so on the ground the gaps between the parts are so large fuel can leak from the airplane body, and this considered normal for that plane! (my aerospace engineer friend told me that story).
 

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Guillermo said:
As an example the tolerances of the stealth fighter are designed for when it flies very high and fast so on the ground the gaps between the parts are so large fuel can leak from the airplane body, and this considered normal for that plane! (my aerospace engineer friend told me that story).
Off-topic in reply but me thinks you refer to the SR-71 "Blackbird" spy plane. Officially only a couple still in service used by NASA as high altitude / speed research planes. ;) Their Titanium skin reaches temperatures in supersonic flight in excess of 1000F and requires "large" gaps for thermal expansion. Fuel bladders cannot be used beacuse of the heat issues. Holds the unofficial aircraft speed record of LA :arrow: Washington in 59 minutes, slightly over 3,000 MPH :!: :shock: There's a History or Discovery Channel hour long episode on the topic, probably also available on DVD. Check their websites if your interested. ;)

The F117-A "Wobbly Goblin" stealth fighter and its cousin the B-2 stealth bomber are composite materials and do not have the same "problem" (nor do they / could they fly as fast ;) )

Back on topic to Rick's question:

If its coming out the tailpipe blue-grey then its oil smoke. Oil consumption monitoring will be the next step. Top off the oil level and reset a trip meter for the purpose. Routinely check the oil level and when you reach the low mark (-1qt) record the distance traveled.

In most high mile engines of all manufacturers these days the oil will be coming in from wherever it can (both the piston rings and valve guides / stem seals). So "fixing" one without the other is usually an effort in futility. Basically your looking at a complete engine "overhaul". Done right its not a trivial cost or effort. And I'd expect some difficulty in finding a qualified shop and automotive machine shop. But with careful planning it can be done right. :)

Oil consumption is _always_ an issue of degree. And an engine "using" oil can have many 10's of thousands of service miles left before it reaches a significant threshold. The old rule-of-thumb is 1qt / 1000 miles but in most Honda cases I'm familiar mechanical breakdown is unlikely until you reach the qt / 600 mile range.

Also if your using a synthetic oil then stop (IIRC most 0w-20's are all but 100% synthetic). Consumption _will_ be higher. At this point in your Insight's engine life a thicker oil may also help. And there are the "new" (revived old) oils that have addatives which will slightly swell the valve stem seals "buying" you a _few_ more no / low smoke miles. IIRC Valvoline's "MaxLife" oil is one of several.

HTH! :)
 

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Discussion Starter #5
Thanks for the notes. I have not had any noticable oil usage. Oil last changed 11K miles ago and its still on the full level (Mobile 1 0W-20). I normally change at 10K miles but went an extra 1K since I was going to wait and change the oil when I return. Thanks for the advise on the oil types. When I start driving it again I will have to watch and see if I have any smoke at first startups when the engine is not idleing at 3500 rpm.

And in regards to the SR71 your correct on the leakage. They would takeoff with min fuel and tank at altitude before going on their way. Have fun, RIck
 

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IMO without oil consumption approaching the 1qt / 1000 mile point _no_ countermeasures should be taken.

Its like the IMA batteries and weaker SoC readings as they age. Not something we like to be reminded of, its simply a consequence of age.

An engine's (just like IMA batteries) ultimate demise was ordained on their day of manufacture (they don't heal themselves). But just because their showing age doesn't mean its ready for replacement.

In this sepcific case _maybe_ valve stem seals alone will be the multi-tens of thousands of miles "fix".

Keep us posted :!: :)
 
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